June 2020 we were interviewed for the magazine "Business-4-Business".
This is the result.
Interview: Make online meetings more fun
Conquer the world country by country
Wonder is a fantastic emotion!
Like many other entrepreneurs, Gerard du Buf saw his business largely go up in smoke when the corona crisis broke out. As a magical speaker, Gerard gives special lectures on personal leadership. In large and small venues, for large and small companies. We all know why all bookings were canceled from March. Did Gerard panic? On the contrary! Gerard: "A little spark of enthusiasm turned into a huge forest fire with international ambitions."
The energetic entrepreneur did not immediately see golden opportunities during the first crisis period, of course not. "I had just had a whole new stage set built for my lectures, I used that set for the first time in February. It went very well, the reactions were positive. And unfortunately that was also the last time I was on stage with it to this day. Anyway, I assume it will be used again someday! I don't panic easily, neither in a crisis like this. I kind of have a basic confidence that everything will be fine, everything will sort itself out organically. That doesn't mean that a mindset like this will come naturally to me, I have to put energy into it, see opportunities and respond to them. "
Gift of wonder"At the beginning of the corona crisis it was the birthday of an acquaintance's daughter. Obviously, it could not be celebrated in a big way, but we thought it would be fun to give her a live magic show online. As a magician, I consider it a privilege each and every time to give to people the gift of wonder. In my lectures I use magic tricks to clarify a deeper message. I have specialized in this over the years; magical lectures, where I bring practical information with a spark of magical entertainment. Anyway, to get back to the story, that birthday girl was at my door two days later with a beautiful drawing as a thank you. The parents were also very enthusiastic and this triggered me tremendously, I immediately wondered whether this idea could be applied commercially. "
Lift everyone up"A seed had clearly been planted. Not much later I was in a video meeting at a company where I was hired as a consultant and trainer. It's part of my daytime job, in addition to the magical lectures. During that specific online meeting we all reflected on the promotion of four colleagues. I thought that the beauty of this moment did not come out well enough. It didn't really stand out. There were, of course, congratulations alla round, but the next agenda item was quickly touched upon. And on and on… The seed in my head continued to grow. How nice would it be if such a moment really gets the attention it deserves? Especially in an online meeting. Just lift everyone up and really put those involved in the limelight in a special way! "
Energy guzzlers or givers?"The little spark flared up even further and has become quite a metaphorical fire haha. Working from home, online meetings… The world has changed and I am convinced that certain things are going to be permanent, such as a heavy increase in online meetings. Because let's face it, there are many benefits for companies. Less travel time, for example, saves time for everyone, but it's also very good for the environment. On the other hand, like everyone else, I have found out that online meetings seem to drain energy. People are getting tired of it. And that can improve! Even fixed! With the Online Energizers offer you're guaranteed to meet more effectively online. More effective and more fun! "
First the Netherlands, then the world"How should you envision this plan? With Online Energizers you make boring and annoying online meetings more attractive. Exciting, fun and therefore more efficient. Everyone stays sharp with the right doses of refreshments once and a while. We offer a wide array of Energizers on our website, where you can choose between Energizers from 15 minutes to more than an hour. And you can choose from different categories. A short magical Energizer or a full magic show for a surprisingly lasting team energy boost. Or you choose a professional speaker, trainer or coach who is able to focus on the personal development of the participants. Or you pick a more active break with the sports or game Energizers. Sitting in a chair all day and staring at the screen ain't good for anyone! Either way, you can choose an Energizer that suits your particular team, the purpose of the meeting you're having and the culture of your company. We are also working hard to add celebrities to the Energizers teams and will soon be adding professional facilitators for a smooth workflow online meetings. We are expanding our range step by step. I have now claimed the domain names for OnlineEnergizers for all major languages and major countries. Country by country, we will be offering a range of suitable Online Energizers. We are really going to focus on the business online meeting world, a world that has been big and lasting since corona. But first the Netherlands of course! "
Costs before profit
"The investment for this project is considerable, especially at a time when I have virtually no income from my magical lectures." But… Gerard has built up a buf-fer for this, to invest if necessary. "Money is by no means the most important thing in life, that's my strong conviction. Life is about time, that is the most valuable thing. And health of course. That may sound corny, but it really isn't. Spending time with family, friends, acquaintances, alone-time too, these are the truly important things in life. Entrepreneurship is built on taking risks and I understand that it can fail. But what I definitely want to avoid is that in the end I will regret not trying. A plan only becomes a true plan when you put it to work! This year Online Energizers is on the map in the Netherlands and in 2021 the range will be completed and we will start abroad. After 2021, this new concept must also start to pay off financially. "
Specialists when needed
"I have found specialists with experience in Van Boekel accountants and advisors. Two things are important to note here. Administration is not my specialty, so I like to leave that to them. You focus on what you can do best. When we moved to Bavel in 2004, we heard about Van Boekel and the first introductory meeting immediately felt good. So that was an easy choice. As a self-employed person I do the quarterly declaration for the OB myself, because I want to keep a finger on the pulse financially. Leaving things to the specialists is all good and well, but I also want to keep a grip on it myself. That is why we always take a critical look, but we also rely on the advice we receive. Ultimately, of course, you have to remain at the helm of your own company. This applies to your marketing, for example, but also when it comes financial matters. Hire specialists where necessary, but remain in control. "
Thousands of hours
Over the years, Gerard specialized in various matters. Things that all seem to come together naturally in the Online Energizers. With his energetic and at the same time soothing appearance, Gerard knows how to make a true connection with people. All this, in combination with his training, (NLP) courses, expanding his knowledgde in positive psychology and thousands of flying hours, makes him a specialist in giving us a world of wonder and enchantment. "Because I really think that is one of the most beautiful emotions. If you wonder, there are no worries and problems, there is nothing for a while, except that feeling of wonder. Magic tricks and magical readings show that the seemingly impossible turns out to be possible after all, and so do many things in our daily life. Offline, but yes, also online! "